Of crazy antics & planting laughter

The king of entertainment, the man who gave laughter-riots like Welcome, Ready and No Entry is ready to welcome you once again, and ensnare you back into theatres.

Of crazy antics & planting laughter

Anees Bazmee, director


Nonika Singh

The king of entertainment, the man who gave laughter-riots like Welcome, Ready and No Entry is ready to welcome you once again, and ensnare you back into theatres. Anees Bazmee, veteran director and writer of many a super-hit, promises his soon-to-be-released Pagalpanti will be paisa wasool film, high on comic punches fare.  

Like his previous outings, the latest one too will be replete with madness, which only he can churn with dramatic and grammatical preciseness.  As a filmmaker he never tires of making his viewers laugh and enjoy, for he believes, “It’s both a gift and a blessing to entertain viewers. Isn’t khush raho the ultimate dua with which we bless others?”

Cinema for him is make-believe, larger-than-life that takes audiences into a dream-like trance, where all they expect and want is suspension of disbelief and two-and-a-half hours of entertainment. Critics are often a bit harsh while judging his comedic fare; he even shares some of their adverse comments. Though he doesn’t trivialise their opinion, in the same breath, he adds, “Behind what appear to be mindless comedies, there is a method. Fortunately, today critics are realising that comedies are not born in a vacuum, but out of a sharp mind and pen.” 

Pulse of viewers

Being a writer of his films put him in a huge position of advantage. Indeed, the duel between writer and director is real too. But he laughs and elaborates, “When I write, I allow my imagination to run unfettered and envision unimaginable sequences, unmindful of how the director will execute the scenes. When the director in me takes over I curse the writer; why has he written so much and I let the director win. And on the editing table, it’s the editor who reigns supreme. But once the film moves into a theatre, it’s the audiences who are the king, also the best teachers whom you can never ever fool.” 

On getting the pulse of viewers’ right, nine on ten, he owes it to his decades of experience, honesty and devotion.  Interestingly, even during his days of struggle, he was confident of making it to the top, “For how can hard work go unrewarded?” Today, as he has seen many cusps of success, he agrees it is difficult to sustain it. However, young at heart, he keeps communication channels open with his young team of assistants, who are more than free to share their ideas with him. Rather than resting on his past laurels or conveniently remake his cult hits, he prefers to be in the moment. “The minute one starts living in the past, one is undone.”  Though people love to watch his 15-year-old films like Welcome and No Entry, he is always bubbling with new ideas, with a firm belief that “my best is yet to come.”

Challenge ahead

Sequels, many of which he has already helmed, and will be doing so in future too, he disagrees signal bankruptcy of ideas. As he takes the directorial baton from Priyadarshan for the sequel to Bhool Bhulaiyaa, he admits it is a huge challenge. But except for the genre (comedy horror) and a couple of songs, he insists, nothing will be repeated. Precisely why, he doesn’t watch his films for, “I don’t want to carry the vestiges of the previous ones to the next.” 

To the diatribe of critics who often reiterate, “Leave you brains at home to watch this one”, he has a ready answer. “Heart too has its reasons and we needn’t respond to everything with critical thinking.” Taking life or cinema too seriously is not always the best solution. As Horace said, “Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans. It is lovely to be silly at the right moment.” Bazmee sure knows how to plant silliness and evoke ‘wanted’ reactions.   



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